april 7, 2018

Nashville, Tennessee. April 7, 2018 - Raphaël Lessard, a member of the Toyota Racing Development program (TRD), participated to the North/South Super Late Model Challenge 100held at the Fairgrounds Speedwayin Nashville (Tennessee). Lessard finished this 100-lap race in 19thplace.

The race was a collective effort of the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the CARS Tour and the Southern Super Series (SSS). Lessard was racing under the banner of the CARS Tour, series which he won in 2016.

Qualifying the car in 6thplace for Saturday's race, Raphaël and the first eight drivers were asked to draw their starting position as it is often the case in Super Late Model races. Lessard started from the 8thplace for this race involving 36 cars.

It is with a strong Toyota Camry #51 FRL Express/Mobil 1/Toyota prepared by Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM)that Raphaël started on the exterior of the field. However, as soon as the first lap, a caution flag set the tone for the first part of the race. With four caution flags within the 11 first laps, Raphaël stayed in the front pack, making sure not to create a gap with the leaders.

At the 40thlap, Raphaël's car started deteriorating because of a slow leak. As the series does not allow a pit stop unless the tire is completely flat, Raphaël had to continue racing with a worsening car.

"I am very disappointed by the outcome of the race," said the St-Joseph-de-Beauce native. "We had a great car at the beginning of the race, and we had the same pace as the leaders so I could've easily hoped for a Top 3 or better. Unfortunately, the series does not allow a pit stop unless the tire is flat on the mag. As this is a pure racing incident, I have no choice but to look forward and think about my next race. I would like to thank my sponsors FRL Express, Mobil 1 and Toyota, as well as Kyle Busch Motorsports team, my parents and my partners. Many thanks to all who came to La Brasserie-Sportive to watch the race and my fans who follow my races."

Next race:

Raphaël's next race will be next Saturday (April 14) at the Toledo Speedwayin Ohio for an ARCA/CRA race.